Thirty-two-year-old former hedge fund manager and current Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli became the Internet’s Most Hated Man of the Week when the New York Times revealed that his company had acquired the drug Daraprim, used for treating “a life-threatening parasitic infection,” and raised the price-per-tablet from $13.50 to $750. Shkreli’s excuse? The profits would allow Turing to conduct more research and “develop better treatments for toxoplasmosis,” but the price hike didn’t matter, he insisted, because nobody really uses Daraprim. On top of that, he isn’t even sure if the drug is profitable at $750 a pill, so everyone needs to chillax.
Unfortunately for Shkreli, people have some blunt opinions about his professional history, and they’ve been eagerly published since the NYT story blew up. Critics have mocked everything from his complete lack of business ethics to his music preference, and somehow he thought it would be a good idea to defend himself on Twitter by using the “tough, bro” defense, which consists of quoting Eminem and essentially saying, “Haters gonna hate.” In the end, Shkreli showed his true colors, turning his Twitter account private and telling the New York Times that their relationship is over. Tears were presumably shed by everyone in that newsroom.
Ultimately, Shkreli announced that Turing would lower the price of Daraprim as a direct response to the outrage. So, victory for the Internet mobs, right? Not really. He never said how much the drug will now cost, so, for all we know, the price is $749 a tablet and he’s privately tweeting victory through Death Cab and Brand New lyrics.
For more on Shkreli’s bullshkit, anchors Tom Storey and Briana Lane weigh in on today’s episode of The Desk.